What is the full form of ASEAN ?


ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a regional cooperation in Southeast Asia. Since its inception, ASEAN has worked relentlessly for growth and development in the region and in the areas of member nations. Its economic coordination has deepened more and more due to its aim for implementing the Asian Free Trade Area, industrialization, development of tourism, and other initiatives to uplift the region. Hence, in this article, we will briefly discuss this association.

Overview of ASEAN

ASEAN whose full form is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is an intergovernmental organization of the developing countries of Southeast region of Asia. This is a region that consists of around 600 million people and which has a total size of 1.7 million square miles. This association has replaced the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA) which was founded in 1961 by the Philippines, Thailand, and the Federation of Malaya.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Declaration of ASEAN Concord were both signed at the first summit meeting of ASEAN that took place in Bali, Indonesia, in February 1976. Both agreements represented ASEAN's goals to promote economic and social growth, regional peace, and stability besides the greater need for collaboration with all countries that value peace. During this summit, a permanent Secretariat was also established in Jakarta.

History of ASEAN

ASEAN was founded through the ASEAN declaration signed on August 8, 1967. The declaration was signed by Foreign Ministers of five different countries namely Adam Malik (Indonesia), Narciso R. Ramos (Philippines), Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia), S. Rajaratnam (Singapore), and Thanat Khoman (Thailand). They are known as the Founding Fathers of ASEAN. This document contained five articles that included the conditions for regional cooperation among the southeastern countries of Asia.

The kind of cooperation that ASEAN countries agreed to are economic, cultural, social, and other aspects with the aim of maintaining regional peace and security. This organization also upholds that it abides by the United Nations Charter’s principles of justice and rule of law.

Functions of ASEAN

The functions of ASEAN were laid down in its declaration in the form of aims and purposes.

  • Increase progress in the field of economy, lead to societal and cultural development in the region through partnership and cooperation of member nations.

  • To provide assistance and help to member nations by providing them with training and research facilities in the field of education, administration, technical and other professions.

  • Provide support to each other in order to foster agricultural growth, industrial advancement, and efficiency in trade.

  • Promote studies related to the Southeast Asian region.

  • Assist in improving transportation and communication facilities in the region with the aim of improving the standards of living in the region.

  • Maintain cooperation with other regional organizations who are working towards the same goals.

Besides these functions, the Secretariat of the ASEAN is also required to perform certain functions. These include −

  • The first and foremost function of the Secretariat is to facilitate proper coordination among all the members of ASEAN.

  • Ensure effective implementation of policies and projects of the ASEAN.

  • Take effective decisions for the whole ASEAN community.

Members of ASEAN

The member nations of ASEAN initially included- Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. In 1984, Brunei joined the association followed by Vietnam (1995), Laos and Myanmar (1997), and Cambodia (1999). So, in total there are 10 member states in ASEAN.


ASEAN functions as a significant regional and international association whose conferences, with leaders from around the world, debate various topics related to various global and regional issues, cooperate and take important decisions. ASEAN has been looked up to by various leaders of the world for its accomplishments and capacity to generate outcomes on a global scale. Its success on the basis of regional cooperation of some of the developing countries has been a model for other regional associations.


Q1. What is the Bangkok Declaration?

Ans. The ASEAN Declaration is also known as the Bangkok Declaration because the declaration was signed by the Foreign Ministers of five countries at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok.

Q2. Which was the recent ASEAN Summit?

Ans. The recent ASEAN Summit was the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit which was conducted together on November 11th, 2022 in Cambodia. This summit was hosted by Cambodia and its host was Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Q3. Discuss the 11th ASEAN Summit.

Ans. The 11th ASEAN Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Issues regarding democracy in Myanmar, the spread of bird flu, trade and investment, poverty, prices of crude oil, and insurgency in South Thailand were addressed.

Updated on: 17-Apr-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started